(Closed) Nosy Budget Questions from Bridesmaid

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

She wouldn’t happy to be unengaged and bitter about it, would she? I’ve got a friend like that – she asks for details then immediately turns around and criticizes my decisions.

Maybe she’s just ignorant about how much stuff costs and is trying to educate herself. Or maybe you need to educate her by just flat-out saying, "Look, this is our one and only wedding day. Some things are more expensive and some things we’re cutting back on, but what’s most important to me is that it works out the way we want it to. You might not understand, but it hurts my feelings when you minimize my day’s importance by calling my decisions into question."

Or maybe you just need to kick her out of the bridal party. I’ve been suggesting that left and right, lately. (Can you tell I don’t want a briday party? πŸ˜› )

Post # 4
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

First off, I think you need to be honest and up-front the next time your friend asks you a financial question.  You can tactfully and nicely explain that you don’t feel comfortable discussing price tags anymore, and you appreciate her interest in things, but you have worked really hard to form and stick to your budget and you hope that she can respect that without knowing exact numbers.  Don’t be surprised if she is caught off guard and maybe a little annoyed at first, but the calmer and more genuinely you explain things to her, the more she might come around eventually.  If you have to, try to relate the situation to something that you think she would be sensitive to if you kept asking her about it, and maybe she’ll get the point.

In terms of the dresses, I feel like you should not bend over backwards to find a $50 dress if it means settling for something that you don’t like.  I don’t think $100 is unreasonable at all — actually it is quite amazing! — and maybe she has never been in a wedding before (which is why she is so shocked by the price tag) and really doesn’t know the cost of most dresses.  If you trust that she won’t propose a dress simply for its price and not because she actually likes it, put her up to the challenge of finding something that suits her budget and your taste.  Either she’ll realize it’s difficult and resign herself to paying more for a dress of your choice, or she’ll surprise you and find something that will save your girsl lots of money!

If that plan won’t work and she genuinely will refuse to buy a dress over $50, maybe offer to pay the difference for her as a gift (but only if she keeps the exchange private from the other ‘maids).  Or, have a heart-to-heart with her about the finances involved in being in someone’s wedding and explain that you don’t expect her to spend money on anything other than the dress.  Explain how much it means to you for her to be there with you on your day, but if she genuinely refuses to pay more than $50, then you will not force her to be a part of your day.  Maybe she will reconsider.

Good luck!

Post # 5
Member
2293 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

The question of cost of BM dresses is hard.  I find (and I think my sister is the same way) that it is hard to find anything I would actually consider wearing for a dressy evening out for under $100.  On the other hand, I don’t spend huge amounts – the last three fancy dresses I bought were from Nordstrom and weighed in at about $160 each.  So I can’t imagine how you can turn out a set of BMs in dresses they would have any hope of wearing again for $50 each.  It sounds like you have other BMs – maybe you can just have a group concensus on the dress, and then you will have some support.  I don’t think you should subsidize one dress without paying something towards all of them, unless your friend just really can’t afford it (as opposed to just complaining about the price) and unless you really can’t see not having her in the wedding.

On the subject of the money talk – it seems to me like some things that are personal to some of us (weight, salary, budget, trying on e-rings) are not that personal to other people.  You always have the right to tell someone "That’s a little too personal; I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it. And I wish you wouldn’t ask me."  If you have to say it a lot, you can get less polite about it!  And as far as criticizing or second-guessing your decisions, for heavens’ sake its your wedding!!!  She is certainly welcome to do whatever she wants when it comes to her wedding.  Maybe you need to let her know how it comes across to you.  I don’t know how much you are spending, but it really doesn’t matter, as long as you are happy with the results and you can afford it.  I’m sure there are bees who are spending both more and less than I am, and on totally different things, and I’m sure all our weddings will be just wonderful.

Post # 6
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

i feel your pain. =/ my FSIL asked how much we were spending immediately after we announced our engagement, and it was really off-putting. she just got married last august, and rather than offer helpful pointers, she clearly wanted to compare the two weddings (that’s just how she is). i calmly said "oh, we’re not discussing the budget with anyone," and it hasn’t been brought up since.

but i put this right up there with asking someone how much money they make — a little too close to comfort if you ask me!

Post # 7
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Possibly explain that it’s highly unlikely to find the dresses for all your bridesmaids (including her) all on enough of a clearance/sale to satisfy her pricing desires. Or tell her that she can bargain hunt on sites like Ebay or House of Brides.

It’s your wedding. You’re not being unreasonable to want it to be a certain way that makes you and your fiance happy.

As for the budget inquisition, I’d try to talk to her about how her constant, specific questions make you feel judged. You’re investing in a day that isn’t going to come again, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for making it what you want. 

Post # 8
Member
2293 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Don’t know what you have in mind for BM dresses either. Its more and more common for BMs not to match exactly.  Either different styles of dress in the same color, or same dress in different colors.  Maybe if you can pick a color you can let her shop for her own dress in her own price range.

And yay onlysupernova…  you sound like my dad!  Every time I get worried about money (and our budget is pretty reasonable, definately affordable for us) he reminds me that it is (he hopes) the only wedding I will ever have.  And he says that it is important to have something wonderful to look back on, as marriage isn’t always easy. (What dad-like advice.)

Post # 9
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

That’s because it’s what my dad actually told me! And while I’m not going nuts, it does let me not worry about fulfilling my personal preferences without worrying what everyone else thinks (other than my fiance, of course).

Post # 10
Member
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I know how you feel, while its not impossible, its very hard to find a nice dress for under $100.  I would try to skip traditional "bridesmaid gifts" in order to help finance or straight up pay for my BM dresses if I was getting a lot of grief over it.  Perhaps make them a small gift and pay for/subsidize their dresses.  But if you have time, shop around.  There are plenty of sales/"non bridesmaid" dresses that are under $100.  Its all about being able to dig around and shop out of season if you have time.  I honestly think if you’re able to come up with a dress under $100, you shouldnt feel guilty about the cost, unless it is common in your circle for the bride to pay for the BM dresses (its not in mine.)  I typically pay $200ish.  My BM’s dresses cost $125 from Houseofbrides.com

I am not the type to be shy about talking about spending, but I know a lot of people who are, and frankly, if you are uncomfortable with it, then you should be able to say so, and your friend should STOP ASKING ABOUT IT IMMEDIATELY.  Its completely rude. Sit her down and tell her that you are really uncomfortable discussing your wedding spending with her and that you’d rather stop talking about it.  Youre not spending HER money, right?

Post # 11
Member
4 posts
Wannabee

To reply to June Bride:

I agree with a lot of what penguin said. At the same time, many people just don’t understand the REAL cost of getting married until they actually do. Is she being nosy? Maybe. Ignorant? Most likely. A pain in the butt? DEFINITELY.

The bottomline is this: if you feel wierd about her comments, talk to her about it. She’s your BM! The most important thing is that your wedding rocks. If she is ruining your wedding planning, that should stop right away. You do the best you can and if she has issues, then maybe she’s best being just a guest – BM’s shouldn’t be the thorns at the end of roses! Be open, tell her she’s being nosy and quite frankly, you’ve got WAY to much other stuff to worry about than answering her questions on how much your spending.

 

clio

Post # 12
Member
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

i am work so i didnt have time to read everyone else’s response. sorry if i’m repeating something that may have already been said….  

i think you need to "put her in her place". do not take her shopping with you. pick a dress that you like and TELL her that is what she will be wearing.  

any additional budget questions should be handled with a direct stare and a simple "None of your business". your friend is past decorum here. you have tried to answer her questions in a way that is not "rude" but she refuses to take the hint.

any balking over the dress you choose could be handled with a "I am sorry you feel that way…" and move right along to another topic of conversation.

Post # 13
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

if she’s that negative, maybe you can give an ultimatum, another negative comment maybe she should step down

your friend should be happy for you, not all judgemental or criticizing, it brings the energy level down

Post # 14
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

To try to give her the benefit of the doubt…has she not been involved with many weddings before? She might not realize at all what 1. BM dresses cost and 2. what goes into the planning.

I agree that it is super rude to be asking budget questions, but some people are more open about that stuff than others and feel comfortable talking about it, even if you don’t. So no, she shouldn’t be asking in the first place, but hopefully she is just being rude about the dollar amounts because she seriously has no idea what it takes to plan something like this. I’m very thrifty too, but for a wedding, I’ve had to learn to put the cheapness aside just a little (like it seems you are also doing) to have any event at all, much less a nice one. Seems like girls who haven’t gone through wedding planning sometimes don’t realize this. I hope this is the case with your BM and she’s not just really that rude! πŸ™‚ 

Post # 15
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

yOu friend is asking to be critical, so there’s probably an underlying reason. I think there’s a nice way to let her know it’s bothering you. Even sarcasm, if that works, depending on your friend.

personally, i have asked my friends their budget stuff, and they’ve asked me mine. I know what we all paid for what, but it’s nto asked in a nosy, inappropriate manner. We’re all on a budget and trying to watch our money. i did scoff a little at a friend’s wedding cake cost, but she also knows that that is because I am NOT a big cake connoseur but she IS and we spent more money on say, our ring and honeymoon, instead of the wedding. We’re kinda doing it to help each other out, not to be rude. So i think the intention makes all the difference int he world.

I know what all my friends make approximately, also, but I have never asked them that. We usually aren’t shy about it because we’re all engineers in approximately the same range. Also, they told me so that I knew what I could bargain for when I was graduating. I think it all really depends. My mom is abhorred by the idea that people know what I make, but you could look it up on salary.com and get it within a few thousand, too! ha. Your friend just needs a little hushing is all. Or, Don’t tell her! Just tell her finances aren’t erally any of her business.

And a $100 dress is sweeeet IF you can find it. BM dresses are knowingly more expensive. I was SHOCKED at the $160 dresses my friend picked out (and told her this, which i have apologized for) because i’ve never spend that money on a dress before. But you know what, I appreciate her dilemna with having to fit girls from a size 6 to a size 20 and the formality of her wedding. Your friend has to just get over it. 

Post # 16
Member
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m with penguin — you GOTTA talk to her about this, because all the negative vibes are doing NOTHING for you.

While you’re at it, I think you should warn her (although dress shopping together may have already come as a warning) that “after looking around at dresses, I’m going to try really hard to find something in the $100 price range, but even that’s hard to find these days for a nice set of dresses; I wanted to let all of my bridesmaids know so they could save if they needed to, or let me know if the cost of the dress is going to be a deterrant to their being in my wedding party.”

Yeah, it’s a little on the snarky side, but it’s also 1) a heads up and 2) an indirect way of letting her know BEFORE you hit her with a real price tag that if the dress is too much for her, she needs to politely bow out, not b*tch to you about it.

Seems reasonable to me… πŸ™‚

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